Monday, December 21, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - December 21, 2009

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New York Times
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Catholics Grapple With Divisions Over Abuse
Thousands of Masses were celebrated this year in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport. But two of them, within a few weeks and a few miles of each other in this diverse commuter-line city, hinted at the tangled emotions still dividing many Catholics almost eight years after the start of a scandal that has confronted the church with its greatest crisis in the modern era.

Link by Link: The Trouble With Tailoring a Web Search
SCOLDS have long had a favorite complaint about the Internet: it’s one big echo chamber. By providing so much information, the Internet paradoxically has made it much easier to read only what you agree with — to inhabit a world where your own thoughts are repeated back to you. A simple illustration of those fears can be found on a news aggregation site like the Drudge Report and in its treatment of global warming. Nothing seems to amuse its editors like a patch of cold weather during a global warming conference — and a quick search for “cold” in an archive of the site produces page after page of links to reports on “cold waves,” including one in Copenhagen last week. A search for “heat,” by contrast, finds very few pages.

Washington Post
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Whither American Conservatism?
Democratic control of the White House and Congress has prompted some profound soul-searching among conservatives. How did the powerful reign of the Right fall into such disarray? George H. Nash, a prominent historian of modern conservatism, has pondered the arc of conservative power for decades. In his latest book, "Reappraising the Right: The Past and Future of American Conservatism," he assesses the discontent and sees signs of hope for the future.
Recently it has become commonplace to assert that the American Right is dead -- or at least brain dead. But is this true? How firm are the foundations of modern American conservatism? Perhaps they are sturdier than many observers think. First, when examining the epiphenomena of contemporary politics -- especially in our era of ever more frenzied news cycles -- it is helpful to remember the ancient adage: "This, too, shall pass." The divisive Bush presidency is now over, and many of the political circumstances that dismayed and disoriented conservatives in recent years have begun to dissipate.

The Target: Nancy Pelosi
By Eleanor Clift
Conservatives love to hate Nancy Pelosi: for them, she personifies the grasping hand of big government in the Age of Obama. Now, some liberals are disappointed, too--over the troop surge in Afghanistan, and compromises on health care. The House speaker talked to NEWSWEEK's Eleanor Clift about what it's like to be in everyone's sights. Excerpts:
CLIFT: You are seen as this far-out liberal, when you actually are quite traditional in your lifestyle. I feel like the country doesn't really know you.
PELOSI: I don't choose to spend my time countering perceptions and mischaracterizations that the other side puts out there. I choose to do my job. Because we are effective, I continue to be the target.

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Broward attorney launching gay newspaper
By Steve Rothaus
Broward criminal defense attorney Norm Kent, who began Express Gay News in 1999 and sold it four years later to Window Media -- which renamed it South Florida Blade and suddenly shut down last month -- will start a new gay newspaper in January. The first issue of South Florida Gay will be published about Jan. 25, coinciding with what would have been the 11th anniversary of Express Gay News, he said.,0,2312261.story/

Steve Rothaus
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Tom Ford swaps fashion for film with 'Single Man'
By JILL LAWLESS, Associated Press
LONDON -- Fashion designer Tom Ford has made a seamless transition to filmmaker with "A Single Man," the soulful, immaculately styled story of a grieving college professor in 1960s California.

Gay activist Walter Tróchez's death illustrates spike in hate crimes in Honduras
Walter Tróchez spent a lot time at Honduras police stations and morgues: he was the HIV-positive gay activist who got the call every time a transgender sex worker was murdered on the streets of Honduras.

The Advocate
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Gay British Secretary Takes Heat for Holiday
By Julie Bolcer
Human rights groups are challenging Ben Bradshaw, the openly gay British secretary of state for culture, media and sport, for his decision to take a Christmas holiday in Sri Lanka, which the British government has condemned for its human rights record.

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RachelWatch: It Came Upon a 1 a.m. Clear
By Ali Davis, Contributing writer
‘Twas the Fight Before Christmas
Rachel started us off with a blood pressure check by looking at the health care reform debate. After making short work of Senator John McCain’s (R – Arizona) snit over Senator Franken (D – Minnesota) denying Senator Lieberman (I – Connecticut) an extra couple of minutes to speak, she moved on to the grueling (for the Senate) schedule for the weekend ahead.

Pink News - UK
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Happy fourth anniversary for civil partnerships
Today marks the fourth anniversary of civil partnerships in England and Wales. Although Scotland celebrated its first civil partnership on December 20th 2005 due to a misunderstanding over the date, today marks the fourth anniversary for gay couples in England and Wales.

Exclusive: Eurocreme CEO speaks to about the bareback porn debate
Max Lincoln, CEO of one of Europe's largest gay pornography producers 'Eurocreme', speaks exclusively to about his decision to stop producing bareback porn.

Christian leader supports death penalty for gays
A far right Christian group has urged fellow Christians to support Uganda's proposed law that would make homosexuality punishable by death. The law would impose the death penalty on those convicted of having gay sex with a minor or disabled person or someone infected with HIV.

Chinese government backs first official gay bar
China's first official gay bar has opened after a three-week delay sparked by intense media attention. Opening on Saturday evening, the bar is situated in the tourist town of Dali in the southwestern province of Yunnan. It is the first venue of its kind to receive government backing.

Canadian MP gets widespread support after Christmas card controversy
Openly gay Novia Scotia MP Scott Brison has been given the support of Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff after a Christmas card featuring his civil partner stirred controversy.

Proposed law change may ban production of bareback porn
An American gay health charity are planning to file a petition that could see a ban on the production of bareback pornography. California's AIDS Healthcare Foundation will file a petition to amend state law to mandate that all adult-film stars use condoms.

BBC 'may face sanctions' after gay execution debate
Trevor Phillips, the chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has said the BBC may face sanctions over last week's online debate on whether gays should be executed.

Daily Queer News
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Lesbian Mom: Netflix Outed Me
By Julie Bolcer
A lesbian mother is suing Netflix for privacy invasion, charging that the video-rental giant outed her through its disclosure of anonymous information about customers as part of a high-profile contest to improve its recommendation system. The suit, Doe V. Netflix, was filed in federal court in California on Thursday and seeks more than $2,500 in damages for each of more than two million Netflix customers, according to Wired.

Gay Marriage
Politicians push same-sex unions despite consistent public opposition
Last week, the City Council in our nation’s capital voted 11-2 to legalize gay marriage. The city already recognized same-sex marriages that had been performed in states where it is legal. The new legislation will mean that Washington will join Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont and—as of Jan 1, 2010—New Hampshire in offering legal marriage to homosexuals couples.

P.E.I. proclaims same-sex marriage amendments
Canada: Changes giving same-sex couples on P.E.I. all the rights enjoyed by mixed-sex couples were proclaimed over the weekend, ending a wait of more than three years. Marriage commissioners on P.E.I. have been able to perform same-sex marriages since June 2006, but many pieces of provincial legislation still referred to married couples as "man and woman" or "husband and wife."

D.C. gay marriage law signed at Unitarian church
Interfaith clergy coalition mobilized to promote same-sex marriage in nation’s capital.
By Jane Greer
History was made Friday, December 18, when Washington, D.C., mayor Adrian M. Fenty signed a bill in the sanctuary of All Souls Church, Unitarian, legalizing same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia. The law was approved by the D.C. City Council December 15.

Charlotte O’s social media conference
by Matt Comer
You know the media world has definitively changed when the local daily newspaper announces its hosting a social media conference. The Charlotte Observer will host their day-long conference on Jan. 23 at Queens University: Throughout the day, you’ll hear from some of the most forward-thinking social media gurus in the region, including Jeff Elder, Lisa Hoffman, Crystal Dempsey, Scott Hepburn and Jason Silverstein. Observer Editor Rick Thames will deliver the keynote address. Capping it all off will be a panel discussion on “The Next Hot Thing in Social Networking.”

Did that week really just fly by?
by Matt Comer
What happened to last week? A full five work days felt more like two. And, I was doing so well on posting here at the old personal pad again. Can’t control the news cycle, or the news makers, it seems. Last week kept me busy at the day job, reporting on Mecklenburg County’s decision to extend health and leave benefits to same-sex partners of county employees. Then, I was kept busy still reporting on the antics of Republican Commissioner Bill James. All of this on top of our usual production week for the Dec. 26 print issue.

U S General Issues "No Pregnancy" Order For His Troops
by: Louise
The Army general of U.S. forces in Northern Iraq has banned pregnancy among military personnel in his command, NBC News reported on Friday. Anyone who becomes pregnant or impregnates another servicemember, including married couples assigned to the same unit, could face a court-martial and jail time, according to an order issued by Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo.

Sarah Palin - Liar Of The Year
Fact-checking political site PolitiFact has chosen Sarah Palin's "death panels" claim as its "Lie Of The Year." Of all the falsehoods and distortions in the political discourse this year, one stood out from the rest. "Death panels." The claim set political debate afire when it was made in August, raising issues from the role of government in health care to the bounds of acceptable political discussion. In a nod to the way technology has transformed politics, the statement wasn't made in an interview or a television ad. Sarah Palin posted it on her Facebook page. Her assertion — that the government would set up boards to determine whether seniors and the disabled were worthy of care — spread through newscasts, talk shows, blogs and town hall meetings. Opponents of health care legislation said it revealed the real goals of the Democratic proposals. Advocates for health reform said it showed the depths to which their opponents would sink. Still others scratched their heads and said, "Death panels? Really?" The editors of, the fact-checking Web site of the St. Petersburg Times, have chosen it as our inaugural "Lie of the Year."


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